Breast milk oligosaccharides: what do we know today?

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Abstract

Breastfeeding remains the "gold standard" for feeding babies in the first year of life. Breast milk contains a mixture of nutrients; their amount varies throughout the lactation period and even throughout the day. The composition of breast milk (BM) is complex and dynamic. Currently, BM oligosaccharides (BMOs) are of most interest to researchers. Due to advances in science and biotechnology, more than 200 BMOs have been identified. Human BM is the richest source of oligosaccharides among all mammals (for instance, their content in cow's milk is almost 1,000 times lower). Numerous favorable effects of BMOs on child health are related to the immune response, gut barrier function, and protection against pathogens. BMOs as prebiotics contribute to the formation of the infant's intestinal microbiome. The BM contains a complex bacterial community whose composition depends on the maternal microbiome (skin, gut, genital, urethral tracts) that forms the infant gut microbial community. In the absence of breastfeeding, modern formulas can be used; BMOs in their composition make them more like BM.

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About the authors

Irina N. Zakharova

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education

Author for correspondence.
Email: zakharova-rmapo@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4200-4598

D. Sci. (Med.), Prof.

Russian Federation, Moscow

Iana V. Orobinskaia

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Khimki Regional Hospital

Email: zakharova-rmapo@yandex.ru

Resident

Russian Federation, Moscow; Khimki

Narine G. Sugian

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Khimki Regional Hospital

Email: zakharova-rmapo@yandex.ru

Cand. Sci. (Med.)

Russian Federation, Moscow; Khimki

Tatiana A. Kovtun

PROGRESS

Email: zakharova-rmapo@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0303-6899

Cand. Sci. (Med.)

Russian Federation

Elena V. Tabulovich

PROGRESS

Email: zakharova-rmapo@yandex.ru

staff member

Russian Federation

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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
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1. Fig. 1. The main breast milk oligosaccharides (BMOs) structures are shown in yellow and blue in the center of the figure. The top panel shows fucosylated BMOs and the bottom panel sialylated BMOs. The building blocks are shown at the very bottom of the figure [18].

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2. Fig. 2. Major lymphocyte populations of gut-associated lymphoid tissue [19].

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3. Fig. 3. Relative mRNA levels of inflammatory factors normalized by β-actin mRNA expression: A) inflammatory factors in the ileum; B) inflammatory factors in the colon. Different letters (a–c) are used to indicate significant differences (n<0.05) of the same factor among groups.

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